Missouri Executes|Third Man This Year

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (CN) – A black man convicted and sentenced by an all-white jury became the third inmate executed in Missouri this year.
     Andre Cole, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m. Tuesday, about 9 minutes after receiving a lethal injection.
     Cole’s attorneys claimed unsuccessfully that he was mentally ill and unfit for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court turned down several appeals on Cole’s behalf Tuesday.
     Gov. Jay Nixon also turned down Cole’s clemency request Tuesday.
     On April 2, a group of advocates sent Nixon a letter on behalf of Cole and Kimber Edwards, which questioned the racial makeup of their juries and the tactics used by St. Louis County prosecutors during jury selection.
     Edwards, also convicted and sentenced by an all-white jury, was scheduled to be executed in May before the Missouri Supreme Court without explanation canceled those orders earlier this month.
     Cole and his wife divorced in 1995. Prosecutors say Cole was upset about child support payments.
     In 1998, Cole had fallen $3,000 behind in payments and became incensed when a payroll withholding order was issued to his employer.
     On Aug. 21, 1998, hours after the first deduction appeared on his check, Cole forced his way into his ex-wife’s apartment by throwing a tire jack through a glass door. He fatally stabbed Anthony Curtis, who was visiting the ex-wife.
     Cole also stabbed his ex-wife, but she survived.

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